About gynocentrism

Gynocentrism (n.) refers to a dominant focus on women’s needs and wants relative to men’s needs and wants in the context of gendered relationships.1   

[see here for more dictionary definitions of gynocentrism]

Introduction

Cultural gynocentrism arose in Medieval Europe during a period cross-cultural influences and momentous changes in gendered customs. Beginning in the 12th century, European society birthed an intersection of Arabic poetry elevating and venerating women, aristocratic courting trends, the Marian cult, along with the imperial patronage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her daughter Marie De Champagne who together crafted the military notion of chivalry into a notion of servicing ladies, a practice otherwise known as ‘courtly love.’

Courtly love was enacted by minstrels, playrights and troubadours, and especially via hired romance-writers like Chrétien de Troyes and Andreas Capellanus who laid down a model of romantic fiction that is still the biggest grossing genre of literature today. That confluence of factors generated the cultural conventions that continue to drive gynocentrism today.

Gynocentrism as a cultural phenomenon

The primary elements of gynocentric culture, as we experience it today, are derived from practices originating in medieval society such as feudalism, chivalry and courtly love that continue to inform contemporary society in subtle ways. Such gynocentric patters constitute a “sexual feudalism,” as attested by female writers like Lucrezia Marinella who in 1600 AD recounted that women of lower socioeconomic classes were treated as superiors by men who acted as servants or beasts born to serve them, or by Modesta Pozzo who in 1590 wrote;

“don’t we see that men’s rightful task is to go out to work and wear themselves out trying to accumulate wealth, as though they were our factors or stewards, so that we can remain at home like the lady of the house directing their work and enjoying the profit of their labors? That, if you like, is the reason why men are naturally stronger and more robust than us — they need to be, so they can put up with the hard labor they must endure in our service.”2

The golden casket above depicting scenes of servile behaviour toward women were typical of courtly love culture of the Middle Ages. Such objects were given to women as gifts by men seeking to impress. Note the woman standing with hands on hips in a position of authority, and the man being led around by a neck halter, his hands clasped in a position of subservience.

It’s clear that much of what we today call gynocentrism was invented in the Middle Ages with the cultural practices of romantic chivalry and courtly love. In 12th century Europe, feudalism served as the basis for a new model for love in which men were to play the role of vassal to women who played the role of an idealized Lord.

C.S. Lewis, back in the middle of the 20th Century, referred to this historical revolution as “the feudalisation of love,” and stated that it has left no corner of our ethics, our imagination, or our daily life untouched. “Compared with this revolution,” states Lewis, “the Renaissance is a mere ripple on the surface of literature.”3 Lewis further states;

“Everyone has heard of courtly love, and everyone knows it appeared quite suddenly at the end of the eleventh century at Languedoc. The sentiment, of course, is love, but love of a highly specialized sort, whose characteristics may be enumerated as Humility, Courtesy, and the Religion of Love. The lover is always abject. Obedience to his lady’s lightest wish, however whimsical, and silent acquiescence in her rebukes, however unjust, are the only virtues he dares to claim. Here is a service of love closely modelled on the service which a feudal vassal owes to his lord. The lover is the lady’s ‘man’. He addresses her as midons, which etymologically represents not ‘my lady’ but ‘my lord’. The whole attitude has been rightly described as ‘a feudalisation of love’. This solemn amatory ritual is felt to be part and parcel of the courtly life.” 4

With the advent of (initially courtly) women being elevated to the position of ‘Lord’ in intimate relationships, and with this general sentiment diffusing to the masses and across much of the world today, we are justified in talking of a gynocentric cultural complex that affects, among other things, relationships between men and women. Further, unless evidence of widespread gynocentric culture can be found prior to the Middle Ages, then  gynocentrism is precisely 800 years old. In order to determine if this thesis is valid we need to look further at what we mean by “gynocentrism”.

The term gynocentrism has been in circulation since the 1800’s, with the general definition being “focused on women; concerned with only women.”5 From this definition we see that gynocentrism could refer to any female-centered practice, or to a single gynocentric act carried out by one individual. There is nothing inherently wrong with a gynocentric act (eg. celebrating Mother’s Day) , or for that matter an androcentric act (celebrating Father’s Day). However when a given act becomes instituted in the culture to the exclusion of other acts we are then dealing with a hegemonic custom — i.e. such is the relationship custom of elevating women to the position of men’s social, moral or spiritual superiors.

Author of Gynocentrism Theory Adam Kostakis has attempted to expand the definition of gynocentrism to refer to “male sacrifice for the benefit of women” and “the deference of men to women,” and he concludes; “Gynocentrism, whether it went by the name honor, nobility, chivalry, or feminism, its essence has gone unchanged. It remains a peculiarly male duty to help the women onto the lifeboats, while the men themselves face a certain and icy death.”6

While we can agree with Kostakis’ descriptions of assumed male duty, the phrase gynocentric culture more accurately carries his intention than gynocentrism alone. Thus when used alone in the context of this website gynocentrism refers to part or all of gynocentric culture, which is defined here as any culture instituting rules for gender relationships that benefit females at the expense of males across a broad range of measures.

At the base of gynocentric culture lies the practice of enforced male sacrifice for the benefit of women. If we accept this definition we must look back and ask whether male sacrifices throughout history were always made for the sake women, or alternatively for the sake of some other primary goal? For instance, when men went to die in vast numbers in wars, was it for women, or was it rather for Man, King, God and Country? If the latter we cannot then claim that this was a result of some intentional gynocentric culture, at least not in the way I have defined it here. If the sacrifice isn’t intended directly for the benefit women, even if women were occasional beneficiaries of male sacrifice, then we are not dealing with gynocentric culture.

Male utility and disposability strictly “for the benefit of women” comes in strongly only after the advent of the 12th century gender revolution in Europe – a revolution that delivered us terms like gallantry, chivalry, chivalric love, courtesy, damsels, romance and so on. From that period onward gynocentric practices grew exponentially, culminating in the demands of today’s feminist movement. In sum, gynocentrism (ie. gynocentric culture) was a patchy phenomenon at best before the middle ages, after which it became ubiquitous.

With this in mind it makes little sense to talk of gynocentric culture starting with the industrial revolution a mere 200 years ago (or 100 or even 30 yrs ago), or of it being two million years old as some would argue. We are not only fighting two million years of genetic programming; our culturally constructed problem of gender inequity is much simpler to pinpoint and to potentially reverse. All we need do is look at the circumstances under which gynocentric culture first began to flourish and attempt to reverse those circumstances. Specifically, that means rejecting the illusions of romantic love (feudalised love), along with the practices of misandry, male shaming and servitude that ultimately support it.

La Querelle des Femmes, and advocacy for women

The Querelle des Femmes translates as the “quarrel about women” and amounts to what we might today call a gender-war. The querelle had its beginning in twelfth century Europe and finds its culmination in the feminist-driven ideology of today (though some authors claim, unconvincingly, that the querelle came to an end in the 1700s).

The basic theme of the centuries-long quarrel revolved, and continues to revolve, around advocacy for the rights, power and status of women, and thus Querelle des Femmes serves as the originating title for gynocentric discourse.

To place the above events into a coherent timeline, chivalric servitude toward women was elaborated and given patronage first under the reign of Eleanor of Aquitaine (1137-1152) and instituted culturally throughout Europe over the subsequent 200 year period. After becoming thus entrenched on European soil there arose the Querelle des Femmes which refers to the advocacy culture that arose for protecting, perpetuating and increasing female power in relation to men that continues, in an unbroken tradition, in the efforts of contemporary feminism.7

Writings from the Middle Ages forward are full of testaments about men attempting to adapt to the feudalisation of love and the serving of women, along with the emotional agony, shame and sometimes physical violence they suffered in the process. Gynocentric chivalry and the associated querelle have not received much elaboration in men’s studies courses to-date, but with the emergence of new manuscripts and quality English translations it may be profitable to begin blazing this trail.8

References

1. Wright, P., What’s in a suffix? taking a closer look at the word gyno–centrism
2. Modesta Pozzo, The Worth of Women: their Nobility and Superiority to Men
3. C.S. Lewis, Friendship, chapter in The Four Loves, HarperCollins, 1960
4. C.S. Lewis, The Allegory of Love, Oxford University Press, 1936
5. Dictionary.com – Gynocentric
6. Adam Kostakis, Gynocentrism Theory – (Published online, 2011). Although Kostakis assumes gynocentrism has been around throughout recorded history, he singles out the Middle Ages for comment: “There is an enormous amount of continuity between the chivalric class code which arose in the Middle Ages and modern feminism… One could say that they are the same entity, which now exists in a more mature form – certainly, we are not dealing with two separate creatures.”
7. Joan Kelly, Early Feminist Theory and the Querelle des Femmes (1982), reprinted in Women, History and Theory, UCP (1984)
8. The New Male Studies Journal has published thoughtful articles touching on the history and influence of chivalry in the lives of males.

Heracles: A Slave To Guilt

Guilt is a trap used to enslave men. By citing real or concocted transgressions, women are quick to saddle men with guilt (you did wrong) and social shame (you are not a good man), charges which are then leveraged to extract male labor as a means of atonement. This dynamic of male existence is nowhere better illustrated than in the story of The Twelve Labors of Heracles.

Heracles (known to Romans as Hercules) is one of the best-known heroes of classical mythology. Looking past his admirable masculine swagger, we see that his life was no picnic. He endured many trials and completed many daunting tasks, with the reward for his struggles being that he might live forever as a Real Man™ among the mythical gods of Olympus.

Focusing on his misdemeanors or his great feats, but never on his pain (the story of everyman!), we tend to overlook the fact that Heracles life was beset by tragedy, exploitation, and stress, with many of his deeds driven by a desire to escape intolerable feelings of guilt. Like a determined MMA fighter Heracles took all of this in his stride, and the fact that he displayed courage, strength, skill and endurance while under stress deserves that we take a closer, and dare we say compassionate look at the demons that assailed him.

The story of the Twelve Labors of Heracles

The rise of guilt

There’s no doubt that Heracles’ feelings of guilt arose from the misdeeds he perpetrated; from his occasional insensitivity, to the more damning crime of murder (of which we will say more below). However, there was much more going on behind the scenes that worked to strain his composure and pushed him to commit such terrible deeds. The primary provocateur, who was constantly provoking him to lash out, was his step-mother Hera — the very same goddess who was pleased to see him tormented by guilt after his crimes had transpired.

Hera’s provocations of Heracles were not isolated to a few occasions, as she is said to have persecuted him from the moment of his birth and throughout his entire life; “Even as an infant not yet a year old,” tells the myth, “Hera sent venomous snakes to kill the boy while he slept in his cradle, but Heracles awoke and strangled them.”

Young Heracles killing a snake

We can conclude that Hera embodied the archetype of the spiteful feminist who frequently disdained men while viewing their role as one of service to women. After reading many of the Greek stories it’s fair to conclude that Hera can be considered, more than all the other goddesses, a poster girl for coercive control, manipulation, spite, jealousy and nagging – she is what we might call the Queen of relational aggression.

According to American sociologist Philip Slater, Hera represents narcissism in her attitude toward Heracles, stating that this was part of the reason she dealt the severest blows to him and imposed pain, grief, and labor on him — she both envied Heracles and wanted him to bring her status and glory.1 Representing a kind of love-hate dynamic, Slater summarizes:

Heracles is attacked in the womb, as an infant, and as a grown man, with Hera once again the persecutor. The attack which destroys him, however, comes after all of these, in his gruesome death on Mount Oeta. Even his labors are an expression of Hera’s malevolence, as well as many of the supplementary difficulties which he must endure in carrying them out.

Hera’s enmity toward Heracles is supposed initially to have been aroused by Zeus’s affair with Alcmene (Heracles’ mortal mother). This is an absurdly weak reason, since Zeus’s infidelities were legion, while no one suffered Hera’s wrath so persistently as Heracles. But we are not to expect too much reason and coherence from such a melange of unrelated and contradictory traditions. What we do know is that the relation between Hera and Heracles is an intense one, and by no means always negative. That we are left with the contradictions, largely unrationalized, suggests that such ambivalence did not seem altogether strange to the Greeks—that it tapped something meaningful in their experience.1 (p.340)

Heracles sent mad by Hera

Hera’s persecution eventually drove Heracles mad, by design, causing him to murder all his children and two sons of Iphicles. In some versions he also slew his wife Megara. When he recovered from the madness and realized what he had done an intolerable sense of guilt rose up in his soul. The oracle at Delphi instructed him to serve Eurystheus and perform the many hard labors that would be set for him as the only way he could atone for his guilty deeds.

No sooner were these accomplished, however, than Heracles committed another murder for which the only way he could make amends was to be sold into slavery to Queen Omphale. While serving in this capacity he achieved several more heroic exploits, and followed up his slavery with a military expedition to Troy, the killing of a sea-monster, further battles, and a new marriage — one which was to bring about his death.1

Philip Slater states that Heracles tries, without succeeding, to renounce his raw instinctual nature in favor of developing a sanitized urban consciousness, a process that entails a transition from a primitive condition to a more modern subjection to “guilt culture.”1 He adds that the failure of Heracles to achieve this goal is perhaps why his ascendancy to Mt. Olympus is associated with so little sense of rejoicing, and his suffering so little regarded as a means to a divine end: it is never in the least clear, as Freud pointed out in his Civilization And Its Discontents, that the achievement of guilt and its subsequent atonement is worth all the trouble:

In any case, Heracles presents us with a curious contradiction. On the one hand he is all impulse, with his gross appetites and lack of restraint or foresight. On the other, he is a man engaged in chronic labor, with no release from suffering, no real love or enjoyment of life—a kind of unwitting adherent of the Protestant Work Ethic. Heracles is a civilizing force, but not civilized. He is proto-urban but not urban, chronically industrious without the capacity for sustained effort and self-denial. His is the blind and uncontrolled ambition out of which the capacity for civilization may accidentally arise. From his blocked pleasure derives the energy for cultural achievements. Yet he is, as noted, proto-urban, the force but not the product. He is like the crude lower-class racketeer who achieves economic success but not social respectability, and is rejected by his children for the very origins from which his success has insulated them.1 (p.388)

In the same way that Heracles is captured by Hera’s emotional snares, modern men are often subject to the same behavioral experiment both on a cultural level, and in their personal relationships. Routine inculcation of guilt saddles men with the feeling that they owe a debt, with a payback framed as servitude or slavery to the self-elected debtors.

Károly Kerényi, one of the founders of modern studies of Greek mythology, claims that Heracles demonstrates the characteristics of an archaic servant and rescuer of women.2 If this is an accurate assessment, Hera not only exploited his gynocentric tendencies but seeded in him an enduring anxiety over masculine destructiveness and the associated guilt burden – an anxiety that may have played a part in the hero’s eventual episodes of cross-dressing and other feminine displays.

Heracles engages in transvestitism

After completing his twelve labors, Heracles continued his adventures but he once again became subjected to exploitation and betrayal – this time by Eurytus, king of Oechalia. After his previous experiences, the new betrayals triggered a kind of PTSD response, sending him into a rage that resulted in him lashing out and killing the king’s son, Iphitus. We are not told whether the crime was self-inspired or the result of madness inflicted on him by Hera, but whatever the case Heracles then descended into a serious bout of insanity.

Heracles was exhausted by these events and appealed for help to cure his madness, and to lift the burden of guilt. He was answered by the Delphic Oracle who advised him to accept another period of slavery in order to cleanse his soul from guilt and atone for his blood crime.

It followed that he was sold into slavery to queen Omphale of Lydia, a subservient role considered shameful for a man, especially to a woman from Lydia which was considered a barbarian nation. During his new period of servitude, which lasted three years, Heracles undertook numerous labors in a similar way to his period of servitude to Eurystheus (12 labors), though his new labors were often trivial and demeaning:

There is general agreement that Heracles was Omphale’s slave and lover, and there are many stories concerning the effeminacy to which the hero was reduced during this bondage. Later authors describe, and painters show, how the couple exchanged clothes—Omphale donning the lion pelt, Heracles her golden gown, slippers, and jewelry [Plutarch; “Whether an Old Man Should Engage in Public Affairs” 785E]. There are various elaborations on this theme, such as Heracles being forced to spin or carry Omphale’s parasol, and a mistaken sexual approach to Heracles by Pan, but these are decidedly of later origin.1 (p.379)

Hercules and Omphale, by Gustave Boulanger (1861)

Later references in texts or art depicted Omphale wearing the skin of the Nemean Lion and carrying Heracles’ olive-wood club, while Heracles wore women’s clothing while being forced to do various kinds of women’s work which included holding a basket of wool while Omphale and her maidens did their spinning.

While Heracles engaged in episodes of transvestitism (he did this on two other occasions as well), we can assume his aim was not to become a female but to compensate for his previous existence. However, it’s intriguing that he did so without complaint when he could easily have resisted and preserved his masculine integrity – after all it was considered absolutely shameful and denigrating for a man to behave this way.

Did Heracles secretly desire time-out as relief from his existence in guilty masculinity? He could easily have avoided this humiliation by employing his legendary strength to either refuse or escape, but it seems he may have viewed such effeminization as less burdensome than the crushing sense of guilt that came with his natural masculinity.

Rejecting the shame of being branded a ‘toxic male’ is the task of all men today, as it was throughout history. In extreme cases men might choose to renounce their masculinity as a means of compliance, and we might also wonder if this sentiment is at work for at least a portion of men who cross-dress, or identify as transwomen. In such cases the solution tends to look more like a sickness than a cure.

The psychology of guilt

There’s a basic formula showing how accusations of toxicity, and associated guilting of males, is used as a means to increase male labor and productivity – a result that works well to the benefit of women, companies, and the State.

That formula is stated simply as – Aggression, Guilt, Repair.

It refers to a psychological process that happens when someone commits an aggressive or slightly destructive act and they notice the damage they have caused (or are made to notice the damage by others). This triggers an automatic guilt reaction for feeling that one has damaged people they love or care about and, after feeling guilty, they move to repair the damage.

It doesn’t matter whether the claims of destructiveness are accurate, somewhat trumped up, or completely fabricated; it has the same effect of generating concern in the minds of the accused, and they react with various attempts to fix the problem and smooth it over.

This formula is laid out by pediatric psychiatrist Donald Winnicott3 who described the process already at work in earliest childhood. During the first years, infants already show a concern over the results of their own destructiveness. Thus, when an infant bites his mother’s nipple hard, or screams and kicks, mother gets frustrated and upset and proceeds to walk away from the infant. At that moment the baby descends into a guilt state (becoming listless, crying, fearful), then when mother returns the baby goes all out trying to repair the damage – reaching out to hug mother, smiling, offering mother a rattle, etc. This again is the process of aggression – guilt – repair,4  and it’s a cycle repeated thousands of times during everyone’s infancy.

The repair efforts, it goes almost without saying, are absolutely vital to any infant who is dependent on his mother for existence, and so we all carry that primal fear of loss when momma walks out of the room…… will she return? As a social and pair-bonding species the concern is real, and no-doubt hardwired. The concern might also explain the popular cliché “If momma aint happy, aint nobody happy!”

Winnicott says that such reparative gestures underlie all productivity and labor in the wider social space – ie. that people want to contribute into society to atone for supposed past destructiveness, and especially on behalf of future destructiveness that has not yet happened (and may never happen!). People want to feel good with the world, and so they work to store-up capital in their reparative bank accounts – usually in the form of labor and financial accumulation, though it could equally be in the currency of thoughtfulness, deference, verbal compliments and the like.

When we consider that the reparative gestures more often take the form of labor – especially men’s labor – we could perhaps equally render Winnicott’s formula as Aggression – Guilt – Labor, and lose nothing of its meaning.

Here we note that the phrase ’emotional labor’ takes on a whole new, and very male sense.

On a more tangible level I’ve talked with a lot of men who admitted that when they feel they’ve done something bad, or that they’ve done something destructive in the eyes of their wife or partner, they go all-out trying to repair the damage. Not just giving her flowers, but they might labor around the yard or paint the interior of the house or some other manual task, and via these constant reparative gestures provide far more labor than would normally be the case. This unfortunately can become a sick game between couples; if a man (or woman) can be made to feel bad enough, and frequently enough, they become pathologically productive.

To that end, many men feel that their wives have become daughters of B. F. Skinner, regularly hearing the nagging din of “You’ve been very insensitive to me recently, and you haven’t even painted the house yet!”

Heracles life is paradigmatic of this cycle, showing the same pattern described by Winnicott in an endless loop; he commits destructive deeds, feels guilt and then attempts to repair the damage through hard labors. His desire to repair things often comes via contributing to society, by helpful assertions of strength to rid the world of monsters and lawless creatures, performing useful engineering feats, while at the same time vigorously denying any weakness that would slow him down.  As Slater observes;

The Heraclean myths also include the self-abasing strategy. This is inferred, not from his appearance as a buffoon in Attic drama, but from his role as a servant of the gods and a slave to women. He consistently performs “dirty work” for others, killing pests, cleaning the Augeian stables, herding cattle, reaping grain, and so on. Indeed, his entire life is one of suffering, servitude, and degradation, relieved only by his achievements and final apotheosis. From the slave of the cowardly Eurystheus he becomes the slave of Omphale, and is constantly being cheated of his wages (e.g., by Eurystheus, Augeias, Eurytus, and Laomedon).1 (p.375)

Heracles, and every man like him who labors compulsively is motivated to repair what he unconsciously feels are the results of his own destructiveness — even his potential destructiveness that may never manifest in real behavior. The mere potential of destructiveness is enough to set the compulsive work cycle in motion, especially if under the watchful direction of a scold.

We can only imagine what the world would look like if men were not operating under pressure of guilt; it would probably look more like a series of traditional villages than the marvels of frenetic civilization we see around us today. When it comes to measuring national productivity, the benchmark GDP should be equally interpreted as men’s Guilty Domestic Product.5

The mechanics of misandry

Misandry is not a simple scapegoating reflex, although that is a part of it. Misandric blaming is also an assist for increasing the power and enrichment of the State, of corporations, and of course women, because it increases men’s productivity.

The Heracles story highlights many elements of male existence, but especially misandry. Everybody disparages and treats him as toxic: Hera disparages him; the king he is in service to for twelve labors denigrates him; his Lydian slave-mistress demeans him, and so on. All through the story people are praising his legendary feats, but at the same time calling him toxic while he goes about his labors in an attempt to better both himself, and his reputation. Such denigration is where misandry derives its internal power, not only as a convenient method of scapegoating, but also as a built-in societal custom that ensures productivity.

That payoff is why misandry has remained normalized, but it doesn’t have to remain that way for conscious men.

Some of the phrases directed at men are proof of the desire to get men to labor; misandric phrasings like “You need to man up!” which often means a man needs to work harder. Men are called deadbeats (not producing enough money), ‘man-babies’ (for not wanting to overdo things nor put their health at risk), or Peter Pans (too busy enjoying life instead of working), or they may be characterized sarcastically as a ‘failure to launch’ (for younger men failing to rush headlong into a career and a job by which he can contribute his labor to society).

Or, in the recent past, what about the negative disparaging of a man as “gay” (whether he was or not), which implied such a man was failing to indenture himself in service womenfolk and family with some kind of productive contribution (gay men were busying themselves doing non-gynocentric things). On rare occasion a man might even assault or kill a homosexual man as if they were a proxy and reminder of his own beaten up, freedom-yearning soul. As ugly as this is, it provides an example of men’s indoctrination and internalized misandry that attempts to ‘put a man in his place,’ by violence if necessary.

In conclusion we can say that misandry is not only a vehicle for cathartic blame, but is more geared to ‘keep men in their place’ – and that place is to be a provider. Women in the long-ago past were similarly subjected to these ‘in your place’ roles, but those days are long gone in most developed nations.

It is now men’s turn to break the cycle and say no to imputed guilt, or at least refuse to make genuine guilt available for others to exploit. If you fail to protect yourself in this regard, you are on a fast track to slavery and, in all likelihood, are already there.

References

[1]. Philip Slater, The Glory Of Hera: Greek Mythology and The Greek Family, Beacon Press, (1968)
[2]. Károly Kerényi, The Heroes of The Greeks, Thames & Hudson, (1952)
[3]. Donald Winnicott, The Development Of A Capacity For Concern (1963), Chapter 6 in The Maturational Process And The Facilitating Environment, International universities Press, (1965)
[4]. Donald Winnicott, Aggression, Guilt and Reparation (1960), Chapter 16 in  Deprivation And Delinquency, Tavistock Publications, (1984)
[5]. Note: for those who are inclined to take comments literally, rest assured this comment about grass huts (and GDP) is intended hyperbole.

Women’s attraction to the ‘child archetype’

ARTICLES ON WOMEN’S ATTRACTION TO THE CHILD ARCHETYPE

Time To Throw The Baby Out With The Bathwater (P. Wright & P. Elam)
With This Ring I Thee Adopt (Esther Vilar)
The Child Archetype As Responsible for Woke Dystopia (Peter Wright)
The Biological Origins of Damseling
Fascinating Womanhood: How To Use Childlikeness to Manipulate Men (video)
Fascinating Womanhood: Women’s Introduction To Cultivating Childlikeness (pdf text)

‘Gynaecocentricity’ (poem published in 1903)

The following poem that appeared in the London Punch over a century ago (Vol. CXXV, August 5, 1903, p. 79), in response to the new ‘gynocentrism theory’ formulated by Lester F. Ward in which he proposed that woman is primary and essential in the evolutionary scheme; that originally and normally all things centre around women, and that man is a mere after-thought of nature.

Gynaecocentricity

Hence, androcentric theory,
Of ignorance and male perverseness born,
That doomst me night and morn
To endless labors, masculine and dreary.
Cribbed in some city den,
Where fog and darkness spread their sooty wings,
And the typewriter rings,
Thou bidst me toil and slave the long day long
Amid the madding throng,
With painful care driving a clerkly pen.
But come thou system, called by me
Sweet Gynaecocentricity!
Make me as a cypher, nought
But a trifling after-thought,
While to woman you restore
All the might was hers of yore.
Once again command that she
Man’s support and centre be,
Guiding with her wiser powers
All her own affairs and ours.
I would cling to MARY ANN,
I the woman, she the man;
Independence I would drop,
She the pole and I the hop.
Every privilege my sex
Would from MARY ANN’S annex
I would yield her up and be
Trampled under foot as she.
I would see her, sun or rain,
Hurry for the early train,
And only leave her desk to crunch
At 2 p.m. her lightning lunch.
Meantime I with prudent care,
To my work-box would repair,
Draw my knitting from the box,
Or proceed to darn the socks,
Or the garden I would seek,
Where soft Zephyrs fan the cheek;
There within the checkered shade
Which the weeping willows made
In my swinging hammock I
With my favorite books would lie,
And read and meditate and moon
Through all the lazy afternoon.
This give and I will live with thee,
Sweet Gynaecocentricity!

The above poem appears to be a sort of parody on Milton’s Allegro, which was widely copied by the global press.

___________________________________



Treating Anxiety With A New Narrative

By Peter Wright & Paul Elam

Anxiety may be the most pervasive “psychiatric” problem in the world. All the more interesting, then, that it is a problem with so little general attention in the media and the medical establishment.

The symptoms can be a mildly annoying, with the occasional and temporary sense of unrest and unease. The reasons for it happening maybe quite obvious at the time. Then again, it can appear to come straight out of the blue. It can come or go without visible “triggers,” like high-stress events.

In more extreme, but very common incidents of the disorder, the symptoms can be life-diminshing, horrific experiences. Full blown anxiety attacks, commonly known as “panic attacks” include tachycardia (rapid, runaway pulse), sweating palms, frightening disorientation, an overwhelming sense of impending death or doom and crippling levels of fear that last anywhere from minutes to hours.

Even when the sufferer knows the events are not lethal; even after experiencing them hundreds of times, it does not put the sufferer at ease during an attack. Each one is as bad as the last. It can become a living hell in which the sufferer feels like a ticking time bomb in between debilitating attacks.

The Latin root of anxiety is angere which means to choke, squeeze or compress tightly. That’s what happens to our bodies when anxiety hits – our chest muscles seize up and breathing tightens. Our neck constricts and creates a lump in the throat. We choke on the words, can’t get them out. Lips, face, hands, legs stiffen and make it hard to move, and our blood vessels constrict to create tension headaches. It’s as if we are caught by a giant who squashes us in his fist.

Anxiety disorders are the most common of all psychiatric complaints, appearing at twice the rate of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar illness.1 Anxiety is characterized by:

a. bodily symptoms of tension, racing heart, shakiness or sweating.

b. state of uneasiness, nervousness, dread, distress, fear, panic and in extreme cases terror.

c. apprehension about failure, misfortune or danger.2

Anxiety also colors the way we think, feel and act. “It is a petty monster,” writes author Daniel Smith “able to work such humdrum tricks as paralyzing you over your salad, convincing you that a choice between blue cheese and vinaigrette is as dire as that between life and death.”3

Numerous forms exist, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, performance anxiety, stranger anxiety, agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, situational anxiety, phobias and panic disorder to name but a few. Each has its own peculiarities and triggers (though they may be very difficult to identify), and each requires a different approach to understand and manage it.

With so many anxiety disorders, we will limit ourselves to a category affecting men, one that you won’t find mentioned in the textbooks on therapists desks.

The anxiety disorder with no name

In the past, psychologists have spoken of ‘performance anxiety’ and ‘castration anxiety’ as ways to understand men, but these terms do not go near far enough. Men’s anxieties are born of far broader concerns than having a metaphorical (or real) penis chopped off.

The cause of men’s anxiety, in this case, is the the entire misandric culture they must daily rise from bed to face. Most men will be unaware of this as facing and dealing with misandric pressures is socially forbidden and often sequestered behind a wall of denial. It’s the culture itself that demands they perform, be in service, be under constant scrutiny and suspicion for wrongdoings, and one that will penalize them if they step out of line.

In that sense, men’s denial of that anxiety is a survival mechanism.

As a man in this world, if you are NOT anxious then there is either something terribly wrong with you or you are one of the lucky few who has unlocked the answers to this problem.

All men (and boys) are under assault from social forces and the resultant anxiety is a natural response. These forces berate you every minute about your supposed violent tendencies, about rape culture, child maintenance, alimony and manning up for women. All of this punishes you with the stress of failure or the stress of disobedience. The whole society you live in colludes to keep you silent about all of it.

So let’s talk about it. In fact, lets also give it a name – Misandric Culture Anxiety (MCA). To be perfectly blunt, we are asserting that the modern male gender role and the unattainable demands it places on boys and men in misandric culture causes mental illness in men.

Among the many causes of anxiety, MCA is one of the big ones. And if you happen to have another underlying anxiety disorder, MCA will exacerbate it. If you have social phobias, MCA will make you even more nervous about mixing with other people.

If you take Valium or alprazolam (Xanax) for generalized anxiety disorder, the added load of MCA will tempt you to unilaterally increase your dose. This is highly dangerous in terms of tolerance and addiction. Both Valium and Xanax are benzodiazepines which can have bad synergistic side effects with alcohol and which can both result in dangerous withdrawal symptoms from high doses over a prolonged period of time. Actually, withdrawal from these drugs can possibly kill you.

The other problem, even aside from MCA, is that of tolerance. Like most other drugs, tolerance develops and higher doses are needed for the same therapeutic benefit. While they may provide short term solutions, these psychoactive drugs are a treatment that can easily become worse than the problem they are treating.

While anxiety attacks may have very obscure triggers, reducing the overall exposure and impact of MCA on our lives can reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with it. Before touching on ways to do that, lets first have a look at the way men have traditionally dealt with it – by self-medicating, often destructively, as a way of reducing the choke-hold of anxiety.

Is it any wonder men drink more alcohol?

How many times are cocktails after work to “de-stress” actually just a form of self-medication for anxiety? How much of that becomes problem drinking because of tolerance? How many other drugs, particularly benzodiazepines, are combined with alcohol or otherwise abused to provide more synergistic effect on the anxiety?

Anxiety can be difficult to treat. There are no magic cures and the many manifestations of anxiety require varied responses. However, there are general strategies that can, for many men, reduce anxiety and with it the need to self-medicate. The first thing to investigate is potential or known triggers, a no-brainer, but in this model it is done in conjunction with assessing the self-narratives that might be needlessly, pointlessly placing you in front of those triggers. If for instance your anxiety is triggered by a desire to provide for a woman, creating anxiety lest you fall short or fail in your “duty,” then you need to rewrite that narrative with one that changes your behavior and attitudes.

If you can’t pinpoint the triggers, or they are ones you can’t avoid, there are still ways to reduce the intensity of your anxiety. Neurofeedback treatments, along with efforts to monitor your body’s emotional arousal will help you better detect anxiety levels and apply strategies to regulate their intensity. But first you have to agree to pay attention to your own needs and well-being – something many men have a hard time doing.

Meditation, breathing control, exercise, reducing caffeine (and other stimulants) can also help. Even some forms of cannibis are now demonstrating anxiolytic effects, though regarding that as a singular approach is something we deem to be unwise. Drugs that mask problems, even non addictive ones, do not ultimately lead to addressing the root causes of the problem.

In some people, anxiety can be more or less “cured,” yet in others its symptoms can be made much more manageable. As always, the dedication and determination of the sufferer will have the greatest impact on results.

It is a complicated subject which we will be handling in a series of articles in the future which are focused on solutions.

One thing is certain, at least in our opinion. Any efforts to address anxiety issues in men without an intense focus on narrative reconstruction are substandard. If you want to reduce anxiety, you must change the expectations you place on yourself which produce it in the first place. You will also need to withdraw permission from the people in your circles, and society at large, to burden you with their expectations.

References

[1] Daniel Smith, It’s Still the ‘Age of Anxiety.’ Or Is It? – New York Times, (Jan 2012)
[2] Andrew M. Colman, Oxford Dictionary of Psychology, (2009)
[3] Daniel Smith, It’s Still the ‘Age of Anxiety.’ Or Is It? – New York Times, (Jan 2012)

Psychology For Men

A New Psychology For Men
The “One True Masculinity”
Servant, Slave and Scapegoat
Men Authoring Their Own Lives
Narrative Therapy With Men
Hephaeutus: Living With A Disability
Apollo – God Of Incels
When Male Anger Is Legitimate
Treating Anxiety With A New Narrative
Heracles: A Slave To Guilt

When Anger Is Legitimate


Men who speak out about personal issues, along with others advocating for men’s issues, are sometimes charged with being ‘angry men.’ The accusation is designed to reduce a man’s story to a single emotion; he is no longer a man telling his story with a tone of anger, but a story-less freak whose entire manhood is synonymous with anger – angry man – no more and no less than a single taboo emotion.

By labeling him an angry man, a complex human being is reduced to a one-dimensional caricature that dehumanizes him, discredits his claims to a wider audience, and ultimately aims to censor his evidence of pain or unfair treatment. The implication is that angry men are irrational and should be listened to only after they have calmed down and domesticated the raw emotionalism. However calming down would be better termed as pushing down, because that’s what happens to a man’s concerns and sense of passion in the face of the angry man charge.

Calming down leads that initial anger, which longs to effect positive changes to the world, to look for another outlet. Sometimes it intensifies into destructive or violent acting out, or worse, is converted into a neurotic self-censorship through the aid of drugs, depression and not infrequently suicide. If censorship is the desired aim of the angry man taunt, then suicide is delivering it in spades.

One would assume psychotherapists and counselors are savvy to the therapeutic benefits of anger, and sometimes they are. The more aware therapist knows that even the famous and talented are driven to greatness by giving expression to anger, with the trick being to direct it intelligently toward a goal.

The bulk of the therapeutic industry however is captured by the feelgood cliches of PC culture, advising men to find ways other than anger to express themselves, referring to it as an ‘anger problem,’ or ‘toxic anger’ or perhaps simply ‘unhealthy anger.’ Such practitioners are unlikely to consider any expression of anger acceptable, preferring instead to nip it in the bud with kindly admonishments about it being a barrier to progress and personal growth.

While we can agree that some expressions of anger move beyond healthy expression and into the rage-zone, these incidents often come on the tail of being ignored, perhaps serially and over a long periods of time when a man is expressing anger within more normal ranges. That rejection is what the PC therapist ironically tends to specialize in through his refusal of the anger that a man might otherwise use to articulate what’s pissing him off.

For many men anger is the vehicle that gets the message out, a message that remains buried in its absence.

The purpose of emotions, or rather the aim of them is to find a way out; as tears on the cheek, smiles on the lips, clenched fists, or the quivering of the bowels.

Anger likewise wants out – as outrage. By this move anger finds a target; it rages out at the family law courts, the misandric TV ads, the lack of funding for male health problems, infant circumcision, male homelessness. Outrage gets political – takes its concerns to the polis; letters to politicians, making a stand at the polling booth, a placard in the street, or thoughts written on a blog. So too with a man’s personal life; his long hours in a shitty job, his pressurized marriage to a nagging wife, his lack of liesure time, all of which might be tackled with some healthy outrage.

We don’t even need to have solutions to the things we’re angry about, at least not initially. As the late psychologist James Hillman suggests we can start out with an empty protest:

Take your outrage seriously, but you don’t force yourself to have answers. Trust your nose. You know what stinks. Don’t try to replace the helpless frustration you feel, the powerless victimization, by working out a rational answer. The answers will come, if they come, when they come, to you, to others, but don’t fill in the emptiness of the protest with positive suggestions before their time. First, protest! I don’t know what should be done about most of the major political dilemmas, but my gut (my soul, my heart, my skin, my eyes) sinks, creeps, crawls, weeps, cringes, shakes. It’s wrong, simply wrong, what’s going on here.1

How different his advice from that of the average therapist! The idea here is that we follow our animal response to the insults and thoughtlessness of the world around us, and not follow the therapists’ advice that we have cold rational answers before we open our mouths in protest.

The real danger here is that if you don’t get the anger out, if you don’t engage in outrage, it always finds another way. One of those ways is through conversion of anger to psychosomatic symptoms, often crippling ones which cause long-term disease and disability. Alternatively the reaction might be to convert anger into a less outwardly destructive mood such as depression, which is all too common. The old saying “Anger turned inward is depression” rings true for far too many men.

The process of anger morphing into depression can be referred to as sublimation, a swapping of a supposedly unacceptable emotion for a more acceptable one in the eyes of our PC culture. The end result of that process is often suicide, and the therapeutic industry is directly implicated for some of those suicides by reason of its suppression of male clients’ anger.

On the other side of that coin, depressed people who receive encouragement to express anger often experience a lessening of their depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts. Psychologists have given moving accounts of men who, when put in touch with the things that anger them, experience a lifting of depression and witness the blood flow back into their cheeks. The upshot is that contrary to the therapists who recommend we men bury our anger, the opposite is a likely way to bring about psychological health.

In summary it is therapeutic per se to express anger,2 and when allowed that opportunity it’s less likely to be intensified into uncontrolled rage or conversely transmuted into a death wish. The man-friendly therapist encourages expression of anger as a prophylactic against depression and suicide, and as a way to potentially reverse depression and suicidality in those already there. Outrage might even bring the bonus of changing an ugly world into a better one, because a man sticking apologetically to his convictions compels the world to sit up and listen.

Reference:

[1] James Hillman and Michael Ventura: We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and The World is Getting Worse, HarperOne 1993

[2] Catharsis, Dictionary.com

Unintended Effects Of Transgender Activism On Men’s Issues

Wright, P. ‘Unintended Effects Of Transgender Activism On Men’s Issues,’ in New Male Studies An International Journal, ISSN 1839-7816 ~ Vol10, Issue 2,2021, Pp. 71–80, Issue 2, © 2021 Australian Institute Of Male Health And Studies

Bio-gynocentrism: Turning Science Into Goddess Worship

The Rationalisation Of Bigotry

Bio-gynocentrism was first coined by Vernon Meigs in his article The Eight Traits Of A Bio-gynocentrist1, to describe people that resort to twisted interpretations of human biology and evolution to justify the practice of male chivalry and the pedestalisation of women in our gynocentric culture. Bio-gynocentrism attempts to rationalise gynocentrism as what nature intended and therefore an ideal to aspire to. Bio-gynocentrism is an example of the naturalistic fallacy and the fallacy of appealing to nature2.

Bio-gynocentrism is based on the underlying assumption that because something that favours women is perceived to have a biological basis to it and be good for women, it must therefore be good for society and what is optimal for society. This is despite numerous examples where traits and behaviours that have a biological or evolutionary basis to them, actually produce dysfunctional and also evolutionary maladaptive outcomes. The instinctual forces driving addiction and obesity in the modern world and our superresponses to supernormal stimuli3, are such examples where our evolved biology can express itself in exaggerated and maladaptive ways. The psychology of gynocentrism itself shares a great degree of similarity with addiction and is one example of a dysfunctional superresponse to superstimuli4.

Expanding on Vernon Meigs article, I would define bio-gynocentrism more broadly as the selective interpretation of scientific research in the biological sciences through a gynocentric lens that favours women, omits information to the contrary and consequently is disconnected from broader reality. Bio-gynocentrism is in essence the women are wonderful effect5 expressing itself in the interpretation and dissemination of scientific research on human biology and evolution.

Bio-gynocentrism is quite prolific not just from the commentary of scientific research in the mainstream media and social media, but also within academia itself. Gynocentrism is fundamentally a bias in human perception and behavior that favours women over men. Bio-gynocentrism is one of the ways gynocentrism manifests itself in skewing our perception of reality and is a form of gamma bias6. Bio-gynocentrism can be observed7 when looking at how people respond to research on sex differences and can be identified and critiqued even when examining work8 within the supposedly objective scientific community itself. Bio-gynocentrism is also reflected in the general attitudes held in society about men and women9 and their perceived strengths.

There are two main examples of bio-gynocentrism and they overlap considerably.

1. Arguments put forward by female supremacists that women are inherently biologically superior to men10. They often cherry-pick and spin facts about sex differences in genetics and scholastic achievement for example to convey a narrative that supports their conclusion that women are superior and then casually omit or downplay the vast quantity of information that does not support their preconceived conclusion of female superiority.

A classic example of this can be seen from an excellent critique by one learned reviewer11 of a book12 making the absurdly broad generalisation that women are genetically superior to men. Books like this from bio-gynocentrists in academia are common. They are examples of the women are wonderful effect in academia undermining the objectivity of scientific research.

The male sex that produced the works of Einstein, Newton, Shakespeare and Beethoven, invented the aeroplane, discovered and harnessed electricity, split the atom and landed on the moon, is regarded as inferior by bio-gynocentrists. Like horses with blinders on, bio-gynocentrists are incapable of objectively assessing human biology without becoming fixated on satisfying their desire to pedestalise women and developing tunnel vision.

Beliefs in the supposed inherent superiority of women, are often based on extreme and simplistic generalisations like other forms of bigotry. Briffault’s law is another example of such a generalisation, which is based on the implied assumption of female social omnipotence (see articles where I debunk that myth here13 and here14).

2. Arguments put forward by female supremacists and gynocentric traditionalists, that women are more valuable than men because women are supposedly more important to the continuation of the community as a result of being the rate limiting factor of reproduction. These arguments are collectively called the golden uterus dogma.

Reducing The Complexity Of Human Biology Down To Goddess Worship

On the surface these simplistic biogynocentric arguments appear to make logical sense. However, on closer examination the arguments are actually highly reductive and omit many important facts as a consequence of the selective cherry-picking of scientific information and the skewed evaluation of the information that is reported. Like the feminist position on the gender wage gap, bio-gynocentrism dramatically simplifies complex multivariate aspects of biology and evolution and in the process grossly mischaracterises them.

For example, whilst the female role in reproduction is important, the golden uterus argument fails to adequately consider the importance of the male role in ensuring the continued survival of the community so that people can reproduce in the first place and also raise any resultant offspring to sexual maturity. Such a reductive overemphasis on reproduction, also ignores the limited carrying capacity of the environment to sustain high rates of reproduction and the reality that our species has a slow rate of reproduction in comparison to other forms of life and did not evolve to place enormous importance on reproduction.

Adherents of the golden uterus dogma will argue that a population that loses most of its women will struggle to replace itself, but then fail to differentiate such an extreme reality from the more common reality that populations generally have a surplus number of women beyond the critical minimum amount required and can actually tolerate a significant loss of women. These sycophants of the golden uterus, also fail to consider that a population that loses most of its men will struggle to survive and may not live long enough to even have a chance at replacing itself or ensure enough offspring live to adulthood.

The golden uterus argument for gynocentrism, also begs the question why do we protect women over 40 whom have limited or zero prospects of giving birth to healthy live offspring? The reality is the golden uterus dogma is not just a weak rationalisation for gynocentrism, it is also a weak explanation for its pervasiveness in society.

There many other factors and details beyond what I have raised here which the golden uterus argument omits (please refer to this article15 for more information). Unsurprisingly, it is the enormous level of detail and nuance in human biology and evolution that bio-gynocentrism fails to take into consideration, which ultimately undermines its validity in a way that is fatal and unrecoverable.

As I have discussed before in previous articles, bio-gynocentrism is an example of categorical thinking16 which Prof. Sapolsky described in his first lecture on behavioural biology citing numerous horrific examples of it involving prominent scientists in the 20th century. When we oversimplify and overgeneralise complex biological systems like human biology, we can make horrific mistakes. When we don’t recognise what led to our mistakes, we are destined to repeat those mistakes.

We should stop and pause on the implications of applying a biogynocentric perspective on human behaviour and biology and the consequences that will flow from it. The same thinking behind bio-gynocentrism, is the same type of lazy thinking behind the scientific racism and eugenics observed in the early 20th century. Bio-gynocentrism is just a different flavour of the same backward thinking.

Bio-gynocentrism fails to account for the fact that human males and females are part of one biological system that replicates itself. Both the human male and human female are equally essential components to that system. The male and the female have coevolved to perform different, but complementary and equally important roles in the propagation of the genome.

We cannot consider the relative strengths of women or men, without considering how they are interlinked with the strengths of the other sex. Neither sex alone can perform their biological role in a way that leads to the propagation of the genome and the continuation of the community, without the other sex adequately performing their biological role.

The evolutionary dynamics of Fishers principle17 generates an equal parental investment in producing male and female offspring and this focuses the forces of natural selection and sexual selection to drive a sexually interdependent coevolution in which both males and females share equal importance toward the propagation of the genome. There is a selective pressure to select against imbalances where the propagation of the genome is more dependent on one sex than the other and where the dynamics of Fishers principle operates and drives equal parental investment in the production of male and female offspring.

Over many tens of millions of years of evolution within the constraints of Fishers principle, our lineage has produced a male and female sex that are both equally valuable to the propagation of the genome. It cannot be any other way when there is a natural force driving equal parental investment in male and female offspring and a distinct evolutionary disadvantage in relying too heavily on one sex, especially over timescales of tens of millions of years.

Consider the reasoning behind diversifying a market portfolio to minimise risk, or the old adage to not put all your eggs in one basket. Being overly reliant on one half of the population to continue the community and propagate the genome from an evolutionary perspective, represents a significant risk and a cost that over long timescales of tens of millions of years would have been selected against under evolutionary pressures.

Natural selection and sexual selection would have favoured males that contributed equally to the burden of supporting the community and the propagation of the genome. That is precisely what we see when we examine male traits and observe male behaviour in our species and the multitude of ways men have kept the community and their children alive both directly and indirectly in prehistoric times and right up until the modern day.

If men walked off the job for one day today, many people would die. If men walked away from their tribe many tens of thousands of years ago for one day, there may not have been a tribe left to return to. These are the realities our gynocentric culture and bio-gynocentrists will never acknowledge or fully appreciate.

The reality is that if the female role in reproduction truly had the level of importance bio-gynocentrists place in it, then all life on this planet would reproduce asexually. If bio-gynocentrists were right, producing males and sexually reproducing would be too costly and wasteful. If bio-gynocentrists were right, then where sexual reproduction did emerge, any species would strictly be comprised of hermaphrodites since having half the population unable to give birth to offspring would again be too costly and wasteful.

Bio-gynocentrism does not leave any room to consider the biological value the male sex might provide to the continuation of a population and a species. It does not permit any consideration of how a male biological role might actually be extremely adaptive and drive evolution to favour a sex that does not give birth and instead contributes to the propagation of a species in other ways. Socially contributing to community survival may actually have greater value than simply gestating offspring and lactating and feeding small infants, especially in harsh climates and scarce habitats.

One has to simply ask why women do more than just gestate and feed offspring when supporting their community, to see the short sightedness in overemphasising the female role in pregnancy and looking after infants. These are certainly important activities for a community to perpetuate its existence, but so are many of the activities related to community survival that men predominantly do. The golden uterus is simply not as important as bio-gynocentrists assert it is and that reality is glaringly obvious when considering hunter-gatherer communities in harsh environments, past civilisations and the challenges they faced and also modern civilisation.

Pedestalising Women Is Not For The Greater Good Of Society Or Science

The greater good of the community is also often conflated with prioritising what is best for women thanks to bio-gynocentrism. This is despite ample evidence that when a society prioritises the female sex over other interests, it routinely neglects to address matters of great importance and also the well-being of the very men civilisation is dependent on to sustain itself.

The reality is that when a society puts men down to lift women up, fertility rates plummet as a result of courtship, relationships, marriage and family formation being undermined. When a society puts men down to lift women up, fatherlessness becomes widespread and so does the serious social and economic consequences that flow from that. When a society puts men down to lift women up, it undermines its economic productivity and its primary source of innovation because it is predominantly men driving essential sectors supporting GDP and consumer spending, inventing new technology and making major discoveries and contributing the bulk of tax revenue.

When a society puts men down to lift women up, it compromises its own national security and safety, as crime goes up and civil unrest becomes more frequent from directionless young men and external threats become harder to challenge from a weakened society that has marginalised and disincentivised it’s male protectors and armed forces.

Gynocentric cultures are cultures of death and not cultures of life. They do not replace themselves and they do not socially, economically or militarily sustain themselves. Karen Straughan called the process of decline from gynocentrism the Fempocalypse18. The long process of decline and the slow gradual collapse of society from gynocentrism in tandem with other destructive forces in our culture, has already begun. Gynocentric cultures of death rely on endless debt and migration to stave off their inevitable decline, but eventually they socially and economically implode from within and are overtaken by cultures that do have a functional non-gynocentric social balance between the sexes.

Bio-gynocentrism reduces our understanding of human biology and evolution by selectively omitting facts, evidence and perspectives that do not support a position that females are inherently superior or more valuable than males. Bio-gynocentrism hijacks legitimate biological science and research and converts them into gynocentric dogma that has more in common with a new age religion of female worship than actual science. Pedestalising women is not for the greater good of society or science.

References:

  1. https://avoiceformen.com/featured/eight-traits-of-the-bio-gynocentrist/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy
  3. https://www.amazon.com/Supernormal-Stimuli-Overran-Evolutionary-Purpose/dp/039306848X
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VygKQV-hEpY
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhm_HZ9twMg
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHYRYKCIDxk
  7. https://www.psypost.org/2020/12/people-are-more-accepting-of-research-that-uncovers-sex-differences-that-favour-women-58862
  8. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40806-015-0029-1
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxpX6IQ3GY4
  10. 10. https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Superiority-Women-5th/dp/076198982x
  11.  https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R20UNZIUKBRWF0/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1250782732#R20UNZIUKBRWF0
  12. https://www.amazon.com/Better-Half-Genetic-Superiority-Women/dp/1250782732/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
  13. https://gynocentrism.com/2021/11/26/briffaults-law-a-classic-example-of-reductionist-categorical-thinking/
  14. https://gynocentrism.com/2022/02/01/rebutting-colttaines-nonsense-and-thinking-beyond-notions-of-female-omnipotence/
  15. https://gynocentrism.com/2021/01/15/the-fallacy-of-the-golden-uterus-and-the-true-origins-of-gynocentrism-part-one/
  16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNnIGh9g6fA
  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisher%27s_principle#:~:text=Fisher’s%20principle%20is%20an%20evolutionary,celebrated%20argument%20in%20evolutionary%20biology%22
  18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w__PJ8ymliw

Is Romantic Love a Timeless Evolutionary Universal, or a Frankenstein Creation of The Middle Ages?

Addendum:

I’m suspicious of scholarly works which “find” romantic love all over the world, appearing seamlessly throughout all places and all periods of history. After reading many such essays I’ve come to the conclusion they confine their definitions of romantic love to biological universals such as the desire for sex, the need for attachment, limerence, social interaction and so on and so forth — all of which falls well short of the complex European-derived phenomenon known as courtly & romantic love.

Those academic surveys conveniently omit the idiosyncratic elements that might cast doubt on their universality thesis of romantic love – details like the inherent displays of male masochism, uniquely stylized feudal relationships borrowed from from French or German class conventions, the conceptualization of the Virgin Mary and her purity and how that plays into conceptions of gender and love, along with other complex behaviors and influences which make up the courtly love complex arising in medieval Europe.

When Gaston Paris first coined the phrase ‘Courtly Love’ (1883) he was referring precisely to those idiosyncratic elements that render the phenomenon distinct from the universals many scholars reduce it to.

Gaston Paris’ description of courtly love can be summarized as follows:

“It is illicit, furtive and extra-conjugal; the lover continually fears lest he should, by some misfortune, displease his mistress or cease to be worthy of her; the male lover’s position is one of inferiority; even the hardened warrior trembles in his lady’s presence; she, on her part, makes her suitor acutely aware of his insecurity by deliberately acting in a capricious and haughty manner; love is a source of courage and refinement; the lady’s apparent cruelty serves to test her lover’s valor; finally, love, like chivalry and courtoisie, is an art with its own set of rules.” 1

 Thus courtly love as defined by Paris has four distinctive traits;

  1. It is illegitimate and furtive
  2. The male lover is inferior and insecure; the beloved is elevated; haughty; even disdainful.
  3. The lover must earn the lady’s affection by undergoing tests of prowess, valor and devotion.
  4. The love is an art and a science, subject to many rules and regulations — like courtesy in general.

 
It’s clear that what we call romantic love today continues each of these conventions with the sole exception of illegitimacy and furtiveness. With this one exception romantic love can be regarded as coextensive with the courtly love described by Paris.

Many scholars researching this area conveniently overlook (or refuse to mention) the sexual feudalism inherent to the European-descended model of romantic love. Attempts to homogenize and cast romantic love as a global universal, while avoiding all mention of the unsavory sexual feudalism that might render it more problematic and complex, is unhelpful to say the least, and misleading at worst. European-descended romantic love, now the dominant version globally, deserves to be considered separately and need not be confused with more simple theoretical constructs on offer.

In summary, to reduce romantic love to a consistently and universally expressed set of evolutionary behaviors amounts to an attribution error.

Note:
[1] Roger Boase, The Origin and Meaning of Courtly Love: A Critical Study of European Scholarship, p.24, Manchester University Press, 1977
_________________________________________________

For more about romantic love as a confabulation of the middle ages, see the following video which explores the unique creation of supernormal sign stimuli which lies at the heart of the romantic love trope.

“Love Service”

Love service is a ritualized form of male love-devotion toward women, especially noble women, that was popularized in the Middle Ages.[1][2][3]

History

The practice of love service appeared first in Medieval Europe and was modeled on a combination of feudalistic class distinctions, courtly love tenets, and gendered aspects of the chivalric class code regarding respectful treatment of women.[4][5]

Love service had certain resemblances with vassalage, especially the concept of obedience. According to Sandra R. Alfonsi the entire concept of love-service was patterned after the vassal’s oath to serve his lord with loyalty, tenacity, and courage. These same virtues were demanded of the male supplicant. Like the liegeman vis-a-vis his sovereign, the male approached his lady with fear and respect, submitted obediently to her and awaited a fief or in this case an honor of reception as did the vassal.[6]

The vocabulary of love service borrowed some terminology from the vocabulary of feudalism indicative of the ties between a man to his lord. Examples are servitium (service), dominus (denoting the feudal Lord, or Lady), homo ligius (addressing the Lord’s liegeman or ‘my man’), homage (duty toward Lord), and honor (honoring gestures). The men were sometimes referred to as domnei or donnoi, meaning an attitude of chivalrous devotion of a knight to his Lady based in servitude and duty.[7]

References
  1. Margaret Schaus, Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia, Taylor & Francis, 2006
  2. Chivalry and Love Service, in Judith M. Bennett, Ruth Mazo Karras, The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, Oxford University Press, 2013
  3. Sandra R Alfonsi, Masculine Submission in Troubadour Lyric (American University Studies), Peter Lang Publishing, 1986
  4. James A. Schultz, Courtly Love, the Love of Courtliness, and the History of Sexuality, University of Chicago Press, 2006
  5. Chivalry and Love Service, in Judith M. Bennett, Ruth Mazo Karras, The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, Oxford University Press, 2013
  6. Sandra R Alfonsi, Masculine Submission in Troubadour Lyric (American University Studies), Peter Lang Publishing, 1986
  7. Sandra R Alfonsi, Masculine Submission in Troubadour Lyric (American University Studies), Peter Lang Publishing, 1986